Here is the short list for the annual Polaris Music Prize, the Canadian equivalent of the Mercury Music Prize in the UK (whose shortlist is out next week).

Artist: Arcade Fire
Album: The Suburbs
Artist: Austra
Album: Feel It Break
Artist: Braids
Album: Native Speaker
Artist: Destroyer
Album: Kaputt
Artist: Galaxie
Album: Tigre et diesel
Artist: Hey Rosetta!
Album: Seeds
Artist: Ron Sexsmith
Album: Long Player Late Bloomer
Artist: Colin Stetson
Album: New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges
Comment:  A circular breathing sax player who records in single live takes.  The token jazz album! But actually quite an intriguing listen.   
Artist: Timber Timbre
Album: Creep On Creepin’ On
Artist: The Weeknd
Album: House Of Balloons
For me the The Suburbs by Arcade Fire is the outstanding album on this list.  Kaputt by Destroyer is also good.  However, the tendency is for these prizes to go to a lesser known act and thus provide a commercial boast and a wider listening audience to some great bands that otherwise may go under the radar.  With this is mind and having listened to most of the albums on the list I would pick Native Speaker by Braids.
Who is missing from the shortlist?  I would say Miracle Fortress, their new album (Was I The Wave?) although clearly not as good as their brilliant debut four years ago (Five Roses), is still worth a listen.